We need Capitalism tempered with Wisdom: It is time to stop blaming the victims

Exploring the Nature of Capitalism

Capitalism tempered with Wisdom

I couldn’t possibly enjoy my lifestyle without modern equipment. I live in a very privileged time. I’m not anti-capitalist, how could I be? I live in a capitalist world and I depend on the products of capitalist enterprise.

But, I know that we, as relatively intelligent beings, have a responsibility not only to enjoy life, but also to tailor our institutions and activities to ensure the greatest good for all; to enhance human welfare everywhere.

How appropriate for our times is the observation, made more than 2500 years ago and reiterated by humanity’s sages throughout history:

How much better to get wisdom than gold, to get insight rather than silver!…

Better to be lowly in spirit along with the oppressed than to share plunder with the proud.
(The Proverbs (16: 16, 19))

It would be truly delinquent to abdicate responsibility for our futures to those who have hijacked them; who have placed self-interested greed before human welfare and loudly insist that we are all better off for this.

We have a responsibility to mitigate the social and environmental consequences of the often antisocially driven predilections of a few real-world Scrooge McDucks who have plundered our communities and our environments for their private benefit.

It is not anti-capitalist to question the status quo. It is not ‘socialist’ to suggest that obscene accumulations of ‘wealth’ should be recycled back into the real-world economy of productive enterprise and social wellbeing; whatever might be claimed by those intent on protecting and ‘growing’ their ‘asset portfolios’.

But, I know that they already hold the high ground. They already control the opinion-shaping apparatuses of capitalism.

There is little or no scientifically valid data to support the claim that the wellbeing of the real economy and the social welfare of people requires that those who accumulate wealth should be able to keep it – as much as both the ideologically driven and wealth accumulators of the world might want us to accept this. Most of that accumulated wealth becomes trapped in vortex economic activity.

On the contrary, there is a great deal of scientifically validated evidence that, as Iglesias and de Almeida (2012, p. 85) put it, normal market exchange activity results in a concentration of wealth in very few hands:

…the system converges to a very unequal condensed state, where one or a few agents concentrate all the wealth of the society while the wide majority of agents shares zero or almost zero fraction of the wealth.

… in the low and middle income classes the process of wealth accumulation is additive (and mainly due to wages), causing a Gaussian-like distribution, while in the high income range, wealth grows in a multiplicative way, generating the observed power law tail.

… a frequent outcome in these models is condensation, i.e. concentration of all available wealth in just one or a few agents. This final state corresponds to a kind of equipartition of poverty: all agents (except for a set of zero measure) possess zero wealth while one, or a few ones, concentrate all available resources.

The system on which we rely for our well-being can only deliver a better quality of life for all if it is tailored to that end. Clearly, we need capitalism; but we need it shaped to the long-term benefit of all.

Let’s Stop Blaming Our Victims!

It really is time to ensure the well-being of all, not merely the absurd wealth of a few at the expense of the rest. As the US President Franklin D. Roosevelt, in a Message To Congress Reviewing The Broad Objectives And Accomplishments Of The Administration. June 8, 1934 explained during the 1930s ‘Great Depression’:

These three great objectives: the security of the home, the security of livelihood, and the security of social insurance–are, it seems to me, a minimum of the promise that we can offer to the American people.

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2 Responses to “We need Capitalism tempered with Wisdom: It is time to stop blaming the victims”

  1. Jada Melchin says:

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  2. Tommie says:

    Great post, really enjoyed it!
    — Tommie